on the mindfulness in motherhood

Samatha.*

Embodied.

Senses.

Engaged.

The body, the mind, the activity.

Stopping.

The belly, the lungs, the nose.

Breathing.

The eyes, the heart. 

Looking.

The ears, the heart.  

Listening.

The opening.

Fully…of laps, of hands, of arms, of hearts.

The receiving.  The allowing.  The cradling.

The embrace.

{Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.}

on the madness in motherhood

Cackling, with laughter to keep the tears at bay.

“From cool to chaos” — whirlwind-tornado-tsunami — in a split second.

MESSY

 …sticky, stinky, sloppy, smushy and sometimes…

STRANGELY GLORIOUS

 …to be freed from the insistent call to order

from shelves, drawers, closets and containers.

LIFE

…spilling

…out:

ALL VIBRANT.  LOUD.  REAL. 

Wailing

Pouting

Shrieking

Bellowing:

HERE, HERE, HERE!

NOW…NOW…NOW!

NONONONO!

And then, sighing:

OKAY? OKAY. OKAY!

YES…YES…YES.

And now:

Laughing.  Softly.  Deeply.  Easily.  Always.

{Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.}

magic + madness: creepy-cool new skill

I must admit I found this finger-crossing action somewhat creepy the first time I noticed K doing it last week.  Mind you, he was locked in his high chair, wailing “Help!” and biting his arm!  I thought it was some kind of spasm (more likely he had an itch he couldn’t quite scratch), but he’s been randomly twisting up these two fingers ever since.

Verdict: New trick!

weird new skill

weird new skill

another view of the weird new skill

another view of the weird new skill

Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.

out on a walk: tandem tumbling

tandem tumbling: view from the bottom of the hill

In between snows this past December, our tot-friendly neighborhood “sledding” hill provided the perfect soft slope for teaching K how to tuck into my arms and roll…

dude, where’s your dad?!

Without question, I’m my kid’s best friend right now.

“Here, Mommy!”…He insists, stuffing a car (or five) in my hand.
“Whatchu doing, Mommy?”…He inquires, looking into my eyes while sitting on my lap.
“Where are you, Mommy?”…He shouts, moments after I’ve told him I’m heading to the next room.
“Mommy-Mami-Ami-Ami-Ami-Ami!”…He chants when he needs me and no one else will do.

Even while writing this, K has wedged himself between me and the laptop—checking in now and again for cuddle time.

In these moments, I recall the word samatha  (Pali/Sanskrit for “calm-abiding“) and the practice I’ve adopted to touch that quality: stopping. breathing. looking. listening.

So I accept the cars.  I explain what I’m doing (talking to you, drinking coffee, reading a book).  I report my location.  I respond to his moment of distress as soon as it is possible and reassure him with hugs, kisses and my full attention that I am here for him.

Then from that place of calm, I can laugh and remind K that he does in fact have a father…who is often waiting nearby with arms wide open to receive him.

to tv or not to tv: ¡al rescate!, diego!

to tv: Imagination, ¡Actívate! This morning I overheard K giggling and telling Diego to kick the ball. When I peeked in the room, he was talking…to a tiny picture…on the back cover of a Wonder Pets book.

Bonus: He can distinguish a llama from a horse and a camel; we’re learning Spanish; and I dig kids’ programming with primary goals.

not to tv: Um, I got nothing at the moment but reserve the right to update this.

mindfulness + motherhood: counting breaths

Learning to spend one LESS breath doing something that doesn’t serve me and learning to spend one breath MORE being fully present to experiences that support me.

 

[originally posted 3 Oct 2011;  dharma yoga arts on FB]

to tv or not to tv: oh, canada!

to tv: After a trial run with “t-tops,” my not-quite 2-year-old said “triceratops” the other day. Thank you, nick jr. & Dino Dan!

not to tv: K’s internal antenna had been tuned to Caillou‘s timetable for the past year, so he always seems to know exactly when it’s on.  And now, well, it’s being recalibrated toward Go, Diego, Go!

potty: repurposed

disassemble

disassemble

fill with water

fill with water

schooner-sized sippy cup

create a schooner-sized sippy cup

Can you guess what was in his diaper at the time?! (OH! Adding to the madness + magic, this, of all songs, actually came on my Pandora Sade station: music for this moment of madness + magic.) Thank heavens he had never actually used it for its intended purpose! Until…*

*BREAKING NEWS: Surprise, surprise! K had some serious movement (as in: major toddler milestone) this morning & will no longer be allowed to play with his pot!

madness + magic: out on a walk…

My not-quite 2-year-old eats dirt. Then squeals for pizza.

mindfulness + motherhood: seeing with new eyes

Developing panoramic vision…and eyes of compassion.

[originally posted 5 Oct 2011; dharma yoga arts on fb]

on the magic in motherhood

magic is not the conjuring of illusions

or

spectacular paranormal enchantments.

magic is the power to see the extra-ordinary in the ordinary:

to conjure peace, grace,

joy, gratitude & acceptance

in moments of chaos & quietude.

magic of motherhood: shoe meditation

…watching my child gleefully clomp around in any unoccupied pair of shoes he finds (sandals or sneakers, men’s, women’s, or kids) & vowing to nurture that innocent play into compassionate practice.

[originally posted on 14  nov 2011; blog: all of life is yoga]

when sitting is not an option

“Whether standing or walking, sitting or lying, as long as we are awake, we should maintain this mindfulness of love in our own heart. This is the noblest way of living.” ~ from the Metta Sutta

Motherhood and meditation seem absurdly paired in the same sentence, so how in the world do we ever find the time for solitude, silence & sitting?!

It’s not required.

Being present wholeheartedly to our experiences with our children and families is the way we live our meditation.

Whenever we can relax, breathe, and accept life as it is…

Wait. Are you laughing? Rolling your eyes? Trust, I know! There are times when we wanna throw a tantrum right along with our toddler because we can’t get a damn thing done in the time we want to do it.

So how do we practice accepting “life as it is” in the heat of those most challenging moments?

By simply stopping. Taking a breath. Looking closely at the situation (and the choices we’ve made to arrive there) with a sense of compassion. Being willing to embrace the frustration along with the fun that inevitably unfolds whenever we are with are children.

From this space of calm, we can learn to celebrate the victory of each breath and, in turn, breathe our full attention into each moment shared with our child. Then we may truly experience motherhood as a walking, strolling, running, stair-climbing, leaf-gathering meditation.

[originally posted: 11 nov 2011, blog: all of life is yoga]